Going Out Of My Way For Your Comfort -or- I Wasn’t Doing Anything Officer!
We all have our little quirks. Some more apparent than others. Some are more abundant than others and then there are some that are downright inappropriate, transcending illegal. But in the end, they make us who we are.
Now, I’m not perfect by any sense of the word but I do go out of my way at times to make others feel comfortable. Sometimes I go too far out of my way and my OCD kicks in, takes over and the KD Mack you know ceases to exist, albeit briefly.
When I’m at the barber shop getting my hairs clipped, I habitually keep my hands from slipping underneath the sheet. This is solely for the comfort of my hair stylist who is almost always female. I want her to see where my hands are at ALL times. I’m trying to let her know, speaking unspoken words, “I’m not a pervert.” Do I really have to do that? No, but quirks are what they are.
When I walk into a bank I make sure I take off my sunglasses before I walk through the door. This way the security camera in the vestibule gets a nice clean shot of my smiling face and I’d be easily identified should the need arise. I’ll even stop for a second or two and stand up nice and straight beside the height marker on the door frame. I try not to look around too much as I continue into the lobby. When I reach the teller’s desk I keep eye contact with him/her and try to make small talk like I’m a professor of Small Talk 101 at Oxford University. But most importantly I DO NOT look around at the security cameras. I figure this way they don’t think I’m scoping out the joint for a future robbery. If I’m making a withdrawal I’ll even go as far as telling the clerk what I’m spending the money on. “I know it’s a sizeable withdrawal but those new windows I’m installing won’t pay for themselves [insert nervous chuckle].”
When I’m leaving the self-checkouts at the grocery store or Home depot I walk really really slowly toward the door as I figure anyone who has just committed a theft would do an Usain Bolt out the door. In addition to the slow stepping I hold the receipt up to my eyes and pretend to read it so everyone can see I have one. On some days, depending on my mood, I’ll even pause in between the security panels at the store’s exit in some inane effort to show everyone the security tags have been removed and/or deactivated from my chosen items.
When I’m stopped at a traffic light and a cop is in the car next to me I look straight ahead with both hands on the wheel. I figure if I don’t see him, he doesn’t see me. Filling up with gas at the pump? I rip my receipt from the machine and hold it up to the camera then slowly drive away (in case the cashier has to run after me to tell me my card was declined and I grabbed someone else’s receipt). Picking my kids up at school? I keep my hands out of my pockets and try not to look any children in the eye in case someone gets the idea I really don’t have kids of my own at the school. When I find my kids I make sure a teacher hears them call me “Daddy!!” If they don’t run up to me and say “Daddy” I prompt them to walk away and come running up to me again once a teacher is looking so I’m in the clear. Easier said than done.
My strangest quirk is early in the morning. I leave for work at 5:45am. When I walk to my car I’m almost always seen by a jogger or dog walker. Just so they don’t think I’m stealing my own car I’ll put my bags in the back seat and walk to the garage and punch in the door code. What thief would have a door code to a house he’s stealing a car from. Door goes up but I don’t need anything from the garage, I just want them to see I have the door code and can open the door at my leisure. If there are more than one passers-by I’ll take out the garbage while my car idles in the driveway. It’s not garbage day but what thief would break into a house to take out the garbage?
Sigh. The lengths I go to show people I’m not a criminal.